Professor Paddle: Lower Sultan River Class II section
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jwcook
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  Quote jwcook Replybullet Topic: Lower Sultan River Class II section
    Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 9:21am
3. Sultan River Fishing Access to Skykomish River

“The Lower Reach”

Class: II
(2.3 Miles, Gradient ~22 fpm)

Flows:
Min. 500, Max 2000, Use the Sultan River Below Powerplant Gauge http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=12138160&agency_cd=USGS&

Put-in:
From Monroe take Hwy 2, take a left at 3rd street in Sultan (the first stop light after the bridge over the Sultan River). Take the 1st left onto Main St. Main St. turns right becoming 1st St and starts heading north. Take a left at the second stop sign onto Trout Farm Rd. In a little over a mile the river access is on the left side of the road before the county maintained road ends.
Latitude 47.8877039204348, Longitude -121.834602355957

Take-out:
There are 2 options: Both are directly across the river from each other

1-Sportsman Park which is a Washington Fishing Access alongside Hwy 2. Before crossing the bridge into downtown Sultan turn left onto Albion St. to access the park.
Latitude 47.8607, Longitude -121.822341

2-Sultan River Park on river left,  accessed by taking a left on 3rd St and a left on main street and near the corner where main street turns right onto 1st St is the park.
Latitude 47.861729, Longitude -121.820388

Other Issues:
Before heading out to run this stretch, as suggested for the section above this stretch, you can call the Powerhouse at (425) 783-8800 to check flow conditions, or to see if there will be any drastic releases planned that will drastically change the river level.

Fun Facts:
Excellent training stretch or something new to run.

Run Description: (Season: Fall, Winter, Spring)

From the put-in you go over one or two gravel bar rapids ranging from class I-II (one of which you will be searching for deeper water) until you get to S-Turn rapid which is a long and splashy class II rapid after the first 90 degree left bend in the river. According to the Bennett Book at higher levels the rapid actually washes out and becomes easier. At the end of this rapid the river turns sharply to the right (Trout Farm Rd briefly appears on river left, and you can partially view this stretch of the river from the road) just before the river enters Beach Ball, which is a short class II  rapid depending on the level. After Beach Ball the majority of the river is a blend between calm pools and splashy class I-II gravel bar rapids all the way to the take out. Before the Hwy 2 bridge crosses the river, take out at the respective park on river right or left depending where you parked your shuttle vehicle.

The only real reason I can see it as a class II+ in the Bennett book is that it is a dam release, and around 1270 the 2 larger rapids have the main current pushing towards the bushes where there are sticks and small logs under. Otherwise nothing is over a class II and the majority of the run is Class I-II.

Video Tour:
http://vimeo.com/27995133

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/27995133?portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
The 960P setting kind of distorts the picture and makes things look smaller than they are, but you’ll get a general idea.

--- Submitted by: jwcook on Date & Time ---

Names of rapids, class levels, and suggested river levels for this section were used from the Bennett book. Coordinates to put in and take outs were derived from Google Maps. Phone numbers for the powerhouse were used from the section of Professor Paddle’s write up for the “Powerhouse” section above this run. The run description was derived from a combination of running the section, and Google Maps.


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Courtney
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Whitewater,sea kayaking, snowboarding, backpacking.

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  Quote Courtney Replybullet Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 9:50am
Actually this can be run down to 350 cfs.  We take our son on it in his kayak in the summers but you get hung up on the first rapid and have to walk through it.  Other than that it's all runable.  I think it's actually harder at 350 since there is more maneuvering.
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jwcook
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  Quote jwcook Replybullet Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 10:05am
Maybe that's where the II+ rating came from in the book was the lower end of the spectrum. The first named rapid looked like it was really starting to wash out in the 1270cfs range. I'll have to run it again at a lower level, I've been searching for more clean beginner runs to take beginners on.
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briandunnington
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  Quote briandunnington Replybullet Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 4:36pm
Jared - I know you probably already have your usual crew, but if you are out exploring new (to you) class II/easy III runs, I would like to tag along. I just started paddling recently, but getting out and doing new runs (especially some that might take a little bit of research/exploration) is something I really would like to do more of.
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